PAP Election Modalities’ proposed ranking of the Vice Presidents is consistent with the PAP Protocol. - AFRICAN PARLIAMENTARY NEWS



memfys hospital Enugu

Thursday, June 23, 2022

PAP Election Modalities’ proposed ranking of the Vice Presidents is consistent with the PAP Protocol.

Recently, the Office of the Legal Counsel of the African Union Commission, in furtherance of the decisions of the 39th Ordinary Session of the Executive Council (EX.CL/Dec.1128(XXXIX)) (Decision 1128) 14 – 15 October 2021, issued ad hoc Modalities to guide the election proceeding of the members of the Bureau of the Pan-African Parliament (PAP).

Specifically, the Executive Council in Decision 1128, directed the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) to conduct and manage the PAP elections process and elaborate the elections modalities within the established Rules and Regulations of the Union and the relevant Executive Council decisions on the principle of rotation.

To allow regions that are eligible to occupy the Positions of the PAP President to present their candidates, the Executive Council further directed that nomination for the post of the other Bureau members should be reopened and all candidates including the president must be submitted to OLC through respective eligible Regional Caucuses.

Accordingly, the Modalities issued by the OLC in Paragraph 9 stated that “for this election, the following order shall be used to select the Bureau taking into account, the past compositions of the Bureau:

President:                          Northern or Southern Region

First Vice President:             Northern or Southern Region

Second Vice President:         Eastern Region

Third Vice President:            Western Region

Fourth Vice President:          Central Region

However, some members of the Parliament had argued that Article 12(4) of the Protocol to The Treaty Establishing The African Economic Community Relating to the Pan-African Parliament (PAP Protocol) states that the Vice-Presidents shall be ranked in the order of first, second, third and fourth initially, in accordance with the result of the vote and subsequently by rotation.

The parliamentarians reasoned that ranking should be based on the outcome of the election in which the Vice Presidential candidate with the highest vote becoming the First Vice President, the second highest vote becoming the Second Vice President and in that order.

Thus ranking, they argued, should be determined after the election and based on the results and not before the election.

But a close scrutiny of the Article 12(4) shows that the OLC was right in proposing the ranking contained in Paragraph 9 of the Modalities. This is because at the inaugural session of the parliament on 18 March 2004, ranking was based on the outcome of the Bureau election. That first PAP election was supposed to establish a rotation sequence hence the provision that subsequent ranking would be based on rotation.

After the 2004 inaugural election, the ranking of the Vice Presidents after the elections of 2009, 2012, 2015 and 2018 were still erroneously based on the result of the elections instead of by rotation. Had the rotation sequence as intended by Article 12(4) of the PAP Protocol been observed, the misunderstanding that led to the suspension of parliamentary activities on 01 June 2021 would have been avoided.

Now that a rotation sequence has been established, it should be institutionalized by including the arrangement in the Rules of Procedure of the Pan-African Parliament. This will eliminate the rancor currently being witnessed during bureau elections as well as put a stop to the exploitation for political purposes, divisions along Anglophone/ Francophone countries particularly during elections.

It will help us to see all Africans as one people and bring meaning to the slogan of “One Africa, One Voice”.

Opinion by Oluchukwu Ibekwe

No comments:

Post a Comment

Disclaimer: Comment expressed do not reflect the opinion of African Parliamentary News